Monday, October 31, 2011

FireGirl has a "best" friend

FireGirl's social skills have vastly improved since she started her first preschool just over a year ago. And she's always been in church nursery. And she has several cousins around her age.

So she's had friends, playmates she was friendly with.

But for the past two weeks I've heard about nothing but Trudi*.

Trudi started at her preschool last month, and last night FireGirl declared Trudi to be her "best" friend.

We must have conflicting drop-off times though, because I had yet to meet little Trudi.

Until this morning.

The minute we neared where her class was on the playground when I was dropping her off, a little blond girl approached us, quietly, hands neatly behind her back, staring at FireGirl.

I suspected this might be the "best" friend. Except FireGirl showed no reaction.

This girl continued to watch us as we said our goodbyes - a fairly long process, if I want things to go smoothly - during which time their teacher informed me that they've become best friends. I asked if that were indeed Trudi, and she confirmed that it was.

I asked FireGirl if she wanted to go play with her friend, and she nodded her head "yes" and took a step toward Trudi.

Trudi waved at her, even though they were only a step apart. They never said a word.

Then FireGirl ran back to me for one last hug before going off with her new best friend.

As a bonus, I found out they'll both be moving up to the same class, at the same time, in a few weeks. Yay!

I don't know why,  but somehow I feel like this attachment to Trudi, this "best friend", is a milestone. I feel proud. But I can't explain why.

I just know my little girl is growing up.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fingerprints (a.k.a. Sometimes I'm Intentional About Not Cleaning)

I finally cleaned the television screen. But only because we were having a party and I thought the smudges might inhibit our guests' view of the show. Because prior to that I had no legitimate reason to get rid of the tiny finger- and hand-prints that covered the screen.

Daily reminders of how tiny she was just a few months earlier, how tiny she still is, and how quickly she is growing.

Of course, I couldn't wipe them away without snapping a few pictures of those tiny fingerprints first.




FireMan keeps telling me he's cleaning the front window. I keep telling him not before I take pictures of her handprints first.

It hasn't been cleaned yet in a year.

I think he's starting to understand my crazy.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Is Anyone's Life NOT a Stumble-Upon ??

Last month Kelle Hampton wrote a great post about how we stumble upon awesome things in life. That really got me thinking.

First, about how my life is such a stumble-upon. Like... just about everything, it seems. A million little accidental findings that have turned out to be the best scenario for me. Ever.

And then I got to thinking... is anyone's life not a stumble-upon? Does anyone out there actually live according to their plans? Does anyone not just stumble thru life, coming upon the things we do and things we have mostly by... accident... fate... God?

Of course, we do have a choice... free will... We choose whether or not to turn down that inviting street, go into that unique shop, "wink" back at that cute guy.

We stumble upon things that are different than where we are, what we are doing, and we decide if we want to take the risk in exploring the stumble-upon that is tugging at us, or go back to road we were travelling safely a few moments before.

We stumble upon these things that we weren't looking for, but almost seem as though they were looking for us. And when we feel that pull, that tug towards the stumble-upon... well, it's hard to resist that tug towards the unknown. The previously unknown.

It appears I do a lot of stumbling.

Like how I met my husband.

And how he stumbled upon our house while helping his parents look for one of their own.

And how I got Tucker because, well, it seemed like a good day to get a cat. The tug was strong that day, practically driving me to the shelter.

And Jena? Most definitely a blessed stumble-upon.

Diving with the manatees? Stumbled upon.

My major in college? Stumbled upon.

Joining the college band? Stumbled upon.

So many things. So many things not planned. Not planned in my wildest dreams. But stumbled upon when I wasn't looking for them. There they were, tugging at my heart, begging me to turn down the next street, veer off the road I was on, change my course...

My life is one big stumble-upon. And I couldn't be happier about it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Final Update on My Baby Cousin

During monitoring yesterday they discovered that the baby had passed away.

Momma was given medication to essentially induce labor, and the baby was delivered, stillborn, last night.

Momma did very well, and is recovering comfortably at home.

My cousin expresses his gratitude to everyone who kept them in your thoughts & prayers. He said he knows they had more people praying for them than they will ever know about and they are so grateful for that support.

Thank you.

We Sure Do Love Those Cheeseburger Picnics

Thanks to the unpredictable weather in these parts, I keep indulging FireGirl's requests for a cheeseburger picnic, because each time I'm worried it'll be the last warm evening we have to do them.

She enjoys them so much, thinks they're such a treat. And once the cold weather sets in... they will stop. So I keep indulging her, for one "last" cheeseburger picnic.

And then we'll have a cold spell.

And then... we'll get one or two warm days, and we'll have another cheeseburger picnic.

Rinse. Repeat.

Oh well.





Thursday, October 27, 2011

Update on My Baby Cousin

The baby's body continues to fill with fluid.

Doctors have declared the child is brain-dead.

Heartbeat is still unexplainably strong. They really don't know why. Said with as much fluid as is surrounding the heart, the heartbeat should have weakened by now.

Please continue to pray:
 - for the baby, for the miraculous healing we know God is capable of
 - for the momma's health and well-being
 - for the daddy's strength
 - for both parents' peace of mind, comfort, and clear minds when it comes time for decision making
 - for their family as a whole, and for their marriage, as they face this challenge
 - for as-of-yet-unknown issues this will bring about to them as individuals and to them as a family

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.

If I didn't have a job to wake up for, the cuddling MIGHT have been cute

Maybe.

Possibly.

Or not.

At some point during the night I woke up to Jason moaning in his sleep (the man's a sleep-talker, what can I say). It was at this moment that I also noticed I had a preschooler tightly wadded around my face, and a cat kneading its claws into my knee.

Now, I suppose it's the mom in me, but there was actually a part of me that insisted that I lie really, really still so as not to disturb the three creatures that were disturbing me.

Crazy? Insane? Mom-ish? Whatever. I realized I had to pee.

Scooted Jena to the middle, kicked the cat out of  the bed. Went to the bathroom. Still half asleep.

I don't know what was going on in our house last night, but I got no sleep.

First, just as I was drifting off, Jena came in for the first time, crying that she had to go potty. Okay. Noble enough reason. Helped her go potty (and yes, she actually peed), put her back in bed.

Some time later, I vaguely remember my still-sleeping self waking to a little girl standing next to my bed, staring me in the face, begging to cuddle with me, and me saying something like "go back to bed".

Next.... the aforementioned waking up with her all wadded up on my face. I suppose because I tend to sleep on the very edge of the bed, that was the only place she could find enough room to get on was in the pillow area. So she was curled up into a tight little ball... around my head.

While the cat kneaded my kneecap.

And sometime after I moved her to the middle, I heard Jason make a sound that made me think he might be fighting (he's actually kicked me once & hit me once (two separate occasions), dreaming he was fighting in his sleep), so that woke me up in a start and I actually found myself shielding Jena just in case.

And then I woke up again with Jena breathing in my face and Tucker trying to burrow under my legs. At this point I was awake enough to realize that Jena should not be in our bed (we don't allow co-sleeping unless it's after 5am (ie she's finishing the morning) or she's really sick (ie. I need to keep an eye on her)). I was also awake enough to realize that she usually sleeps like a rock, so if I move her back to her bed, she's not likely to wake up.

And so I did.

Enter the only 90 minutes of uninterrupted sleep I got.

Would have been two hours, but guess who showed up after 90 minutes?

Yup.

Not sure what her deal is, but all I can say is:

#1 - I hope she's not getting sick
#2 - this had better not be a new trend
#3 - I am tired

As always, thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Haircut Pics (a little late, I know)

Yes, I'm still catching up on posting pics.

Here are the pics from my haircut.

Before


 
After

Now, I took about a zillion "after" shots, because I didn't think any of them did the haircut justice. In fact, looking at these pics, I like the "before" pic better. But IRL, I think my new haircut is much cuter.

Although... sometimes I feel like it makes me look older. A bit of a "mom" cut, you know? But it's definitely easier to maintain, quicker to dry, and on the odd occasions where I actually curl or straighten it or something... well, I can actually accomplish that in less than an hour. So that's good too.

But... now that it's grown out a little bit, I'm not terribly happy with the length. So I've decided to either get it chopped of more, or start growing it out again. I can't decide. So I told Jason I would let him choose. And he couldn't not pick, because I told him if he didn't say anything, I was getting it chopped off, so by not saying anything, he would still be picking. Pretty clever, huh?

Speaking of hair, today I noticed that Jena's hair is very long. Almost to her waist. She still insists that she doesn't want it cut. The problem is that she also doesn't like it to be combed, brushed, braided, pony-tailed, or otherwise messed with. She even fusses when I wash it at bathtime. Washing it is mandatory (obviously), as is combing it every morning, and pulling it into a ponytail on the days she has dance class at preschool. And since she won't let me cut her bangs, I make her wear a barrette to keep her hair out of her eyes.

I suppose as long as we can continue to fairly easily keep it maintained, I'll continue to let her have her way re: the length. I'm just not sure how much longer that will be.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Update on My Baby Cousin

Further testing was done at the hospital, and they were informed that the baby's entire body was filling with excess fluid. It is not expected to survive.

This is a result of the chromosome defect, and as of yet we do not know why problems were not detected at earlier screenings / ultrasounds.

Please continue to pray for all three of them.

Thank you.

Calling My Prayer Warriors

You may recall back in this post I mentioned my cousin & his wife were expecting their first child.

Well, because they were high risk they've had early ultrasounds and additional screenings (I don't know exactly what) all throughout the pregnancy, and everything seemed okay.

Today was their big ultrasound - the 20 week ultrasound to determine the gender - as well to serve as another checkup on the little one's well-being.

During the ultrasound they discovered the baby has fluid on the brain, fluid around its heart, and its feet are "messed up". Heartbeat, however, is very strong.

Their obstetrician has sent them directly to the hospital. That's all we know at this point.

Please pray for healing for baby, health for momma, and for strength & peace for the entire family.

I'll keep ya posted.

Thanks.

Did you know there's another fairy besides Tinkerbell?

I didn't.

Another mom at a todder's birthday party I went to this past weekend informed me.

I was clearly the odd man out. A couple of other moms were discussing Disney princesses, a topic I can at least keep up with, growing up with Snow White & Cinderella myself (ha!). They were all discussing how their houses were drenched in pink and oh-my-goodness-does-anything-not-have-a-princess-on-it? (yes)

And then a third mom introduced the topic of fairies.

Apparently there are several. Maybe... six? I don't know. I'm still reeling from the announcement that there's more than just Tinkerbell. And they have names. And Fairy clothing lines all their own.

Whatever.

I also cannot name all of the Disney princesses. I'm guessing I might be able to get half of them correct, and those would be the old-school half.

I knew the story "The Little Mermaid" first from the book of fairy tales I had as a child, and then from Disney.

That's true of a lot of the stories I know.

I cringed when FireGirl opened a set of Disney Princess PJs at her 3rd birthday party. Cringed. Hoped they came with a gift receipt.

It's not that I have a problem with Disney (actually quite a fan), or that I have a problem with a girl wanting to be a princess (I personally want to be called "duchess", but whatever).

What I do have a problem with is the culture I see around me, as the mother of a little girl, where this influence of loving all things pink & shiny and forcing princesses (especially Disney princesses) down our daughter's throat is somehow not only acceptable, it is apparently the only satisfactory way to raise a little lady.

I walk thru the stores and see girl after little girl, virtual clones of one another, wearing the same characters, sporting the same clothes, the same shoes, and yes... acting the same way. The same I'm-a-dainty-little-spoiled-little-princess way.

And I don't like it.

If that's the way my child turns out to be, on her own, the fine. But it just seems like over the past 10 years or so this princess culture has invaded and infested our baby girls.

And I don't like it.

In a side note to commercialism, and in a surprise to even myself, when I was pregnant I made the decision that I didn't want my child wearing any character brand (ie. Elmo, Dora, Disney, etc) clothing. Quite a change from the woman who a few years before had declared that when she had a child she would have an Eeyore-themed nursery.

But when the time came... when I was pregnant... when it was my child... the idea of paying for a company to advertise on my child (which is really what you're doing)... made me cringe.

I'm racking my brain now to think if FireGirl yet has any character brand clothing items in her wardrobe. I don't think so. Although now that she's older I do let her have a little say, so there might be an item or two. Maybe.

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random timing maybe, but I want to take a minute to say that what I'm writing about is what I feel is the best way to handle the situation for my family. I make no judgement to those that have no problem with their girls wearing princess outfits, etc. and actually do understand where they are coming from as well. This is simply me explaining why I do what I do, and my reasoning behind it.
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My child does like girly things. But instead of conforming to society's vision of femininity as being a princess, FireGirl was entranced by ballerinas at a young age.

So she has ballerina skirts, and watches Angelina Ballerina, and PBS shows about ballet, and now her interest has spread to other forms of dance and even cheerleading.

I embrace her love of dance because she loves it. She discovered it all on her own, and loved it all on her own. She doesn't love it to please momma, or because her friends do, or because we forced her to take a dance class, or because society told her it was cool.

Same with nail polish.

And the color purple.

My child has liked the color purple since she was old enough to focus her eyes. I don't remember exactly how young, but it was clear at an early age that her gaze lingered on all things purple. And when she could point, she'd point out purple items. And her first two-syllable word was... purple.

It's not that I don't want her to be "girly", it's that I want her to be her own girly.

Lately she's been telling me that her favorite colors are now purple and pink.

And I'm upset.

Not because it's pink. But because I have a sneaking suspicion that she's been influenced by the girls in her class. Whose parents dress them in much more pink & girly clothing than my daughter wears. They come to school with curled hair & pierced ears and I swear I've seen lip gloss on at least one of them.

And now, suddenly, FireGirl likes pink.

I'm suspicious.

But I suppose it's all part of her journey. Of figuring out what she really likes and what she only likes because other people like it or because she thinks she should like it. And if she insists that she likes pink, I won't deny her pink.

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crap, now I feel like I'm rambling
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I guess my point is... I don't like anyone trying to push my daughter into a pigeonhole of who she should be, just because she's a girl.

Or any other reason, for that matter.

I mean, I don't like people doing it to me, I sure as heck won't stand for people doing it to my daughter.

And so... one way we combat this... no, we don't have Disney Princess items in our home. She will get exposed to that in a bevy of other locations. She does not need to be inundated with it at home as well.

Her Barbie four-wheeler? I instructed FireMan to not put the Barbie stickers on it.

Not sure what I'm gonna do about those Disney Princess pajamas.

I like that my daughter is very well-rounded in what it means to be a girl. Meaning that her choice of a Halloween costume has gone from a purple ballerina, to a black spider, to a firefighter in yellow bunker gear (she's very specific, can't you tell).

And in case you think she's simply mimicking Daddy... Daddy wears black bunker gear, thank you very much. Her costume must be yellow bunker gear. I don't know why, other than that's what she wants.

I love that she sees all of them as perfectly acceptable for a little girl.

I love that one day she will ask to wear her purple & pink skirt to school, and the next day she will ask me why the firefighter on her shirt is a boy & not a girl.

I love that in a very typically girly way she loves all things horses, but in a very untypical way she also loves snakes.

I loved the day that she asked me to get her pink training pants with Diego on them. And I love her confusion as I try to explain that Diego only comes on blue training pants and pink training pants only come with Dora on them, and my confusion as I try to explain to her why.

I love that she very daintily hates getting dirty (although she is unfortunately getting over that), but God forbid Daddy try to take the four-wheeler out without her on it.

You wanna see a real princess? Come see my daughter. In her jeans & Tshirt. Hair tangled. Dancing in our driveway.
Talk to her. Listen to her "please" and "thank you". Her "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am".
Watch her open the door for you. Help you carry something. Watch her offer her hand to her Papaw to "help" him up the stairs.

World, listen up... that is a princess. It has nothing to do with pink frilly things, nothing to do with over-commercialized painted faces. Real princesses know how to act like a lady... no matter what they're doing or what they're wearing.

My kid... she's a real princess.

Just don't call her that. Because she'll scream "No I'm not!".
And I swear she didn't get that from me. But it still makes me smile.

As always, thanks for checking in!

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This post inspired by another blog post...
Purple Toenails and Princesses by JenM 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where We Got Stuck Financially

Yup, we messed up.

Not huge. Yet. But... we probably caught it just in time.

It seems the majority of people run into trouble because they don't have savings, or put too much on credit cards, or just don't plan for a rainy day. And then the rainy day happens, they're hit with a catastrophe, and... ruin.

But... we hadn't done any of those things.

We did have savings. We had a savings account. We had extra savings. We had little to no credit card debt (meaning we paid off what we put on there).

And there was no major catastrophe.

Which is why... for months now... both of us have been lamenting over where our money was going.

FireMan accused me of overspending. I shot back reminding him of what he had spent money on.

Now... being totally honest, the realization of what happened is kind of a "duh" moment for both of us. Basically it's something we both knew, in our heads, but didn't really put the pieces together.

You see, when we bought our house last September, our major renovation project, we knew that our mortgage was higher than our previous mortgage. It's a larger house, with 5 times as much land, and since it's a renovation loan we paid a higher interest rate.

But we also knew that after 12 months we could refinance at a regular (lower) mortgage rate, and with the renovations being done should be able to get rid of our PMI, reducing our payments so much that our monthly payment would be the same, or slightly lower, than at our old home. For much more house and land.

That year of sacrifice, a year of a slight tightening of the belt, of not being able to put as much into savings... we knew that. We got that. We accepted that it was worth it in the long run.

So we did it. We made slight modifications to our monthly expenses. Things like replacing cable with streaming Netflix (saving us $35/mo) and the like.

But renovations (as they often do) ended up costing (significantly) more than expected. Enter the dreaded credit card.

And then, we unexpectedly experienced a significant increase in childcare costs overnight.

My longtime readers may remember this.

My parents had been our primary childcare, and had refused payment. We finally gave up trying to pay them, and compensated them instead with nicer gifts for holidays & such. Virtually nothing.

Overnight, we were paying for full time child care. Several hundred dollars we had not budgeted for, added to our monthly expenses.

I think with the stress of what our family was going thru in the moment, even though we certainly acknowledged, and stressed over, this change to our finances, we just weren't in the frame of mind to really accept it and make the changes we needed to to accommodate this change.

That... was our undoing.

The extra mortgage payments we could have handled. The extra renovation dollars we could have handled. The extra childcare expenses we could have handled.

All three happening within a 3-4 month period, increasing our monthly expenses by nearly a thousand dollars - every month - we could not.

We made it. But our savings has gradually dwindled. And our credit card bills have gradually gone up.

So I guess we haven't really made it.

Of course, there have been other things.

Like medical bills. I've had them. FireGirl's had them.
Thank goodness for being on very good health insurance plans. But between copays, deductibles, and medication, we've still paid several thousand dollars out of pocket.

And we've procrastinated on renovations. So here we are more than 13 months since we bought the house, and we still haven't even applied for refinance, because we know certain things won't pass appraisal / inspection as is. Not for us to get the lower rate. And certainly not for us to get the PMI knocked off.

Totally our fault.

So... it wasn't that we had one giant catastrophe. No car accident this time. No lost job. No one time major catastrophe.

But several things within the span of a few months that significantly raised our monthly expenses, without us making significant changes to our lifestyle to accommodate those changes... and there you have it.

We screwed up.

So now we're taking steps to correct it. We've put ourselves on weekly allowances for eating out & ATM withdrawels. We're eating in more. I'm (still) trying to get my coupons more organized so I can save more on groceries.

And we're taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We're still in the beginning, but I think that's gonna be really good. It's already changing how we think about money.

Wish us luck, and I'll keep you posted.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What a Hike !!!

For our mini-summer vacation, we went to Natural Bridge State Resort Park.

And yes, we actually hiked to Natural Bridge! The entire trail. FireGirl insisted on walking most of the way on her own. She did fabulous! I was so impressed!

I mean, heck! I was exhausted!

The scary part was actually on the bridge, where we made her hold on to one or both of our hands the entire time we were up there. She didn't like that one bit, but it was not optional.

We actually saw one mom that had two little boys attached to her with ropes tied around their waists, and then back to hers! Hey, whatever you gotta do, right?

Here are some pics from our hike. Enjoy!





at the top of Natural Bridge

the view



one tired little girl!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hunny, I am not "just" anything (edited)

originally posted in July 2009

The word, "just", can be such an awful, degrading word. By injecting that simple, little word in to the sentence, you decrease the value of what or whom you are talking about.

The truth of the matter is that none of us are "just" anything.

In the workplace, those of us that are in support positions, usually lower on the totem pole, are generally taking care of the things that make it possible for those higher on the totem pole to do their work effectively.

That's right. "Just" admins keep your office operating smoothly.

In a family setting, being "just" a mom means that you are holding what is quite possibly the greatest responsibility in the world. Literally. You are raising the next generation of people that will eventually take over this world. You are raising a human being. Think about it... What an enormous task!

Being "just" a wife means that you have committed your life to another person, for life. That, in and of itself, is worthy of applause. Add to that the fact that you are your husband's primary support on his journey thru life, and being "just" a wife takes on a lot more consequence.

Being "just" a girl means... what? That people like you make up over half of the world's population? That you are a person with endless possibilities for the future? Being a girl is awesome.

And yes, so is being a boy.

Being "just" a child means that you have your entire life ahead of you, and the time to make it whatever you want it to be. The possibilities are endless. No child should ever feel like he is "just a kid".

By the way, we all have our lives ahead of us, to make it into whatever we want it to be.

Besides all that, we all hold many titles. Let's see. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a granddaughter, a cousin, a friend, an employee, a coworker, a volunteer, a blogger, a scuba-diver, a coupon-clipper, a pet owner, a trumpet player, etc, etc, etc. The list could go on & on & on. As it could for each of us. You see, I am not "just" anything. I am everything.

And so are you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

FireGirl DANCES

A brief introduction, then I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. While on vacation, we decided to participate (mostly watch, so we thought) in a hoedown that is open to the public.

Our shy, everyone-is-a-stranger child stunned both of us by jumping off of my lap & making her way onto the dance floor. The middle of the dance floor. By herself. In front of everyone.

Coincidentally, I was just the week before telling my parents how I actually hate being in front of people. They were shocked, because of how much I loved to perform. I told them I just liked playing the trumpet more than I hated being in front of people. We then mused about how for FireGirl, it'll just take that one thing that she loves to do more than she's afraid of being in front of people.

Looks like that one thing just might be DANCE.

Enjoy.




See her? That tiny speck? To show you how far she ventured away from us, and in front of everyone else.


Patiently waiting for the next song to start











footnotes:
* I swear her belly doesn't normally show. In this pic she's 2 yrs old & wearing a 4T shirt. And was in the middle of a growth spurt. During this time frame she grew 2 inches in 2 months. And people ask why I don't just save money by buying her clothes out of season. Pshaw! I wish!

* the next day we were still in the same area and she was famous! Okay, well, 2 people recognized her from the night before and complimented us on our "dancing girl"  {{ insert proud momma grin }}

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Memories Giveaway Winner !!!



The winner of the FREE download of My Memories Suite version 2.0 is...

Melissa of Wife of a FireMan

Congratulations !!!

Email me at KYFIREWIFE@gmail.com to claim!
And everyone else... don't forget you can use coupon code STMMMS48278 to receive $10 of the price of the software, and an additional $10 in free merchandise from My Memories.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

twenty THREE miles per hour


I mean, really? I couldn't get over these signs, posted all over our summer vacation destination. FireMan thought it was hilarious that I was so obsessed with them.

But really, twenty THREE mph? Why? Somebody just tell me why?!?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

America's Top 10 Most Mustache-Friendly Cities


As the wife of a mustached man herself (hey fire wives - can I get a witness ??), I couldn't help but check out the most mustache-friendly cities list.

We didn't make the list. But there's always next year!

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Read the entire article here.

source
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And my goodness, did you know there was a 'Stache Bash? By winning the top spot in the most-friendly list, Chicago wins the honor of hosting the 2011 'Stache Bash.

If you live in or near Chicago, I implore you to go to the Bash and report back. I mean, exactly what happens at a 'Stache Bash, anyway?

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As always, thanks for checking in!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Goodness. She's growing up.


This is FireGirl dancing in our living room. But mostly, it's a picture of FireGirl looking way more grown up than I would like her to be. Where did my baby go?!?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spread the Happy


Yep, it is time again to Spread the Happy!

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I am thrilled with the color of our new master bathroom!
After FireMan primed it with dark-colored primer, I was a little scared to go so dark / bright in such a small space, but I love it! (yes, pictures will come later)

Speaking of the master bath, I love it! And I am so proud of the work FireMan has done! He is so talented in this area!

I am excited that FireMan has found a great base for a chicken tractor, for next to nothing! So we may have chickens by Spring after all! And hopefully this will help curb the bug problem at our house as well!

I am thankful that my sister has found good doctors in Iowa, and they are taking care of her health problems (I know I haven't posted about the problems, but I am happy about the solutions!)

Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! I totally forgot I've been waiting to post this one...

I am so incredibly excited, thrilled that my cousin & his wife are expecting their first child!
I'm also asking for prayers for them. There are some genetic issues that my cousin's immediate family carry that result in severe birth defects, which usually result in miscarriages. My cousin opted not to be tested for the gene, once the issue was discovered (only 8 yrs ago), so there is still some concern for the future of this little one. But they have made it halfway into their 2nd trimester and so far are doing well! Yay!

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And some recent blog posts that I've enjoyed:


Poop Immunity

because I get it

My "Tired" Haiku
because I can relate. all too well.

I Heart Awkward
because she's funny


Big Boy Toys
because it's cute

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Now it's your turn! Link up, readers!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lizard Invasion ??? It Just Might Be

Remember this post, about the skink I found in our house?

Well, now take a look at this:



That would be a lizard climbing up the screen of our dining room window. FireGirl & I were in the middle of dinner, so while I did let her get down for a minute to check it out (and for me to take a couple of pics), I wouldn't let her go outside to see it, because she needed to finish dinner first.

By the time we got outside, it was gone.

From what little I could see, I think it may have been another skink, albeit with its tail this time. And larger. I'd put this one at 5-6 inches long, without tail (8-9 with tail).

I love the wildlife here!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Not Just Another Blog Challenge #1 - What's in Your Fridge


What's in my fridge? Well, this week isn't a very representative of the norm in our house, but it still tells you about us. So here goes.

Well, there's leftover pizza from FireGirl's birthday party. Leftover pop from FireGirl's birthday party.Yogurt. Shredded cheese. Hot dogs.
Moving over to the shelves we've got: Applesauce. Half a bottle of apple juice. Worcestshire sauce. Ketchup. 2% milk. Strawberry Jam. Spaghetti sauce. Sour cream.

Not only is this week not very normal for us because of all of the leftovers, but because we'll be going out of town in the near future, so I haven't gone shopping in over a week, using up our perishables instead.

Like I said, it may not be "normal" for us, but it still has a story to tell.

So, what's in your fridge?
I have no idea why the picture is sideways, but I can't get blogger to do it right side up (like it is on my computer). Very weird.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Angela's African Adventures



This is my dear friend Angela with me at her going away party.

Angela & I have been friends since we were 10 years old. She is one of my oldest and dearest friends.

So where was she going?

She was leaving to teach at a school in Kenya. For three years.

She's there now.

I am so proud of her for following God's calling in her life. Of taking this enormous leap of faith and stepping into the unknown to do what she believed He was asking of her.

I am proud of her for giving of herself to others so unselfishly.

I ask that you pray for her as she continues her journey in Africa.

If you'd like to follow her story, you can read her blog here.

If you're interested in supporting her, thru prayers or thru financial giving, there are more details here.


"For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."  -- Galations 5:13

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Random Thought re: the Blog Diva

Back when Lela Davidson posted this post on the 8 Types of Bloggers You Meet at BlogHer, I was mostly struck by The Diva.

The Diva
The Diva strolls from one party to another with premium swag weighing her down. She has been around. She knows all. Luckily, I only met one blogger who disappointed me with her less-than-lovely real life self. Of course I’m not going to mention her by name, but I will say she wasn’t the only one. I heard many stories of “Who are you?” and “Don’t you know who I am?” Being courted by the brands does not impress me. Show me the money or write a book and then I’ll respect you 

Because, in the interest of being totally honest here, even if I follow your blog regularly, heck - even if I check your blog every day... there's a pretty good an almost absolute chance I don't have a clue what you look like, or what your real name is.

Could be that I'm the weird one. After all, unless an actor happens to be one of my favorites (meaning, one of my favorites, and not necessarily the media's flavor of the day), I wouldn't recognize them either.

So the idea of a blog diva... well, that just struck me as funny. And I would probably end up disappointing them greatly.

As they would me.

Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Visit to the WaterPark

Yes, we still live in Kentucky.  No, we are not on vacation. Yes, I am still catching up on sharing my pics with you    :P

Enjoy!







I couldn't believe how brave she had gotten, how far she would wander away from us.

And I am still befuddled by the fact that she will run thru water fountains at the water park all day long with out even noticing the water on her face, but if she so much as gets one tiny drop of water anywhere near her face during bathtime, it's over. During bathtime I have to stand at-the-ready with a dry washcloth, all set to wipe her face dry should the teensiest spec of water dare to near her face.

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And don't forget to enter the My Memories Giveaway! Only one week left.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Not Just Another Blog Challenge

Not Just Another Blog Challenge


I know, I know... aren't there enough of these blog challenges floating around?

Yes, yes there are. But... quite frankly it seems like a lot of them ask the same things. Or some of the same things.

So a few months ago, I started making a list. Questions for a blog challenge of my own. Topics I've never seen in a blog challenge (not that I'm an expert or anything, just things I hadn't seen). Things I think might be interesting. Things that, if answered honestly, tell a bit about who a person really is.

When possible, pictures would be awesome.

Answer one question per blog post. As frequently as is convenient for you, but let's aim for answering at least one question per week, just to keep things flowing.

And please use the badge shown above to link back to this post, 'kay?

Hope you'll play along!

Here's the list:

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3. your first job (doesn't include chores)


5. something you side-eye (something you're judgy about)


7. something you struggle with

8. your past significant others (does not include "just dated", but those you would classify as an actual relationship)


(ie what makes you want it)








18. oldest clothes in your closet (that you still wear)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

One morning I walked in to wake up FireGirl, and found such a Sleeping Beauty that I just had to take a few pics.

There she lay, naked*, covered in the blanket that welcomed her home from the hospital, sucking on her lovey turtle.


* I have no idea why she's naked. Yes, I normally put my kid to bed in PJs. Or at least some sort of clothing. I'm assuming there was some late night potty accident may have led to her sleeping in her birthday suit, which may also explain her strange position in the bed, but too much time has passed for me to remember.

Little toes*, painted a sparkly purple, peeking out from thru the slats in the footboard

* this pic would drive my mom nuts. She hates that we don't put socks on FireGirl at nighttime. We used to. Until she got old enough to voice her opinion. And take them off. What can I say? She's like her momma and her daddy. Doesn't like to sleep in socks.

What an angel
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